12 July 1543 – Henry VIII Marries his Sixth Wife, Catherine Parr

Posted By on July 12, 2013

Catherine Parr On 12th July 1543, in the Queen’s Closet of the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, King Henry VIII married his sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr, Lady Latimer.

The notorial attestation by Richard Watkins, the King’s prothonotary, can be found in Letters and Papers and gives details of the wedding, which was a small, private ceremony, including the names of guests and witnesses:

“Notarial instrument witnessing that, on 12 July 1543, 35 Hen. VIII., in an upper oratory called “the Quynes Pryevey closet” within the honor of Hampton Court, Westm. dioc., in presence of the noble and gentle persons named at the foot of this instrument and of me, Ric. Watkins, the King’s prothonotary, the King and lady Katharine Latymer alias Parr being met there for the purpose of solemnising matrimony between them, Stephen bp. of Winchester proclaimed in English (speech given in Latin) that they were met to join in marriage the said King and Lady Katharine, and if anyone knew any impediment thereto he should declare it. The licence for the marriage without publication of banns, sealed by Thos. abp. of Canterbury and dated 10 July 1543, being then brought in, and none opposing but all applauding the marriage, the said bp. of Winchester put the questions (recited) to which the King, hilari vultu, replied “Yea” and the lady Katharine also replied that it was her wish; and then the King taking her right hand, repeated after the Bishop the words, “I, Henry, take thee, Katharine, to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us depart, and thereto I plight thee my troth.” Then, releasing and again clasping hands, the lady Katharine likewise said “I, Katharine, take thee Henry to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to be bonayr and buxome in bed and at board, till death us depart, and thereto I plight unto thee my troth.” The putting on of the wedding ring and proffer of gold and silver (described) followed; and the Bishop, after prayer, pronounced a benediction. The King then commanded the prothonotary to make a public instrument of the premises. Present : John lord Russell, K.G., keeper of the Privy Seal, Sir Ant. Browne, K.G., captain of the King’s pensioners, and Thos. Henage, Edw. Seymer, Hen. Knyvet, Ric. Long, Thos. Darcy, Edw. Beynton, and Thos. Speke, knights, and Ant. Denny and Wm. Herbert, esquires, also the ladies Mary and Elizabeth the King’s children, Margaret Douglas his niece, Katharine duchess of Suffolk, Anne countess of Hertford, and Joan lady Dudley, and Anne Herbert.”

As you can see, Henry VIII’s daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, were present.

The wedding was followed by a special wedding breakfast and a proclamation that Catherine was Queen. It was a marriage that was going to last until Henry’s death in January 1547.

Also on this day in history…

  • 1537 – Execution of Robert Aske, lawyer and rebel. He was hanged in chains outside Clifford’s Tower, the keep of York Castle. Aske was one of the leaders of the rebels in the 1536 northern uprising known as the Pilgrimage of Grace.

Notes and Sources

  • LP xviii. i. 873

7 thoughts on “12 July 1543 – Henry VIII Marries his Sixth Wife, Catherine Parr”

  1. Daniela says:

    There is a very good book by Jean Plaidy called “The Sixth Wife” which tells the story of Katherine Parr and her meeting and subsequent marriage to King Henry VIII. I loved this book, in fact many of Jean Plaidy’s historical novels on Tudor life are wonderfully written. Has anyone else read this book? I hope everyone is enjoying the glorious weather at the moment. X

    1. Angel Singer says:

      I have not read it, but I thank you for recommending it! I will check it out.

      1. Dawn 1st says:

        Yes I have, Daniela, when I first got into Henry and his wives, many centuries ago in the 1970’s :), I read all the ones she wrote on this era,
        Murder Most Royal, about Anne and Catherine Howard.
        The Shadow of the Pomegranate, about K of Aragon.
        The Royal Road to Fotheringay, about Mary Q of Scots
        The Captive Q of Scots….and many more that she wrote later on.

        Her real name was Eleanor Hibbert, and she wrote under the names of Victoria Holt, Philipa Carr and others too.
        Her last one ‘Rose Without a Thorn’ about Catherine Howard, it was published the year she died in 1993.

        There are so many she wrote about in the Tudor age, I really enjoyed St. Thomas’ Eve, about Thomas Moore.

        I know they aren’t 100% historically correct, but I think they are a lot closer to the truth than others that could be mentioned, as you say they are wonderfully written.

        Have you read any from the other parts of history, the Plantagenet’s etc. they are good reading too. There’s a full list on the net.

        And YES, loving the hot sunny weather, we are even getting it in North East Scotland!! hope it stays a few months…

        1. Daniela says:

          Yes, many of the books you have mentioned by Jean Plaidy I have also read Dawn. I haven’t actually read any of the Plantagenet ones but shall check them out. Glad you are getting wonderful weather in Scotland too. My sister was married there , so have very fond memories of the place. Have a wonderful weekend. x

      2. Daniela says:

        Enjoy the book, I am certain you will love it. X

        1. Dawn 1st says:

          Oh, where about in Scotland did she get married, my sister got married in Brodie Castle, just a mile or so up the road from us. A typical ‘Princess’ type build with the turrets etc. very special.

  2. Baroness Von Reis says:

    Very good read Katherine Parr one of my Favorite Queens!! Would really like to no more about this last Queen ,of Henry V111? I remember one post that Claire had on this kind and gentle Queen sad she loved another Thomas Seymour.I was however very happy that Katherine was able to marry her true love but far too short as they both died so early. Kind Regards Baroness x

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